Rebrand continues — the naming decision

Another in the series of posts about branding. This one is:

Anatomy of a Rebrand, part 2 — the naming decision

Keep the name? Or get a new one?

Anatomy of a rebrand — naming

I’m not done yet. Yup, I may be standing in that still, deep water (at least I’m still on my feet, could be worse, could be flailing, or drowning) but that water is deep and it’s broad. I wanted to be done by the upcoming end of this month, and I won’t be. I can’t even tell you that I see the light at the end of the tunnel yet, but I can tell you that I know how many more stops there are before I can see that light. As soon as I get detailed layouts made (nope, not even started yet), and hand them off to my developer team, I will be counting the days to launch.

Continuing the story from the last rebranding article six weeks ago, there’s a lot that has been decided and accomplished. There are a boatload* of decisions to be made on a big project like rebranding, and when it’s your business, if you’re like me, you give those decisions some focused and supported attention because it’s your business!

A big decision: Naming

I decided to keep the name Magnolias West. Although this rebrand is all about upleveling my brand and my offers so that I can better connect and work with the wise and passionate women I know I’m meant to serve; although I’m changing the look, the logo, the colors, the fonts, and every single word — when it came to the naming question, I realized that there are many very good reasons for me to keep the name just as it is.

  • It’s my brand! It’s everywhere. I’ve built this brand and the Magnolias West community for over five years. I feel like my business name and my personal name are integral parts of my business connections.
  • I still really love magnolias. Fact: the naming of Magnolias West was a convenience move for me back in 2010, when I was combining two distinct businesses into one. At that point I didn’t see the natural synergy of my two careers like I see it now. I didn’t know how to combine decades of design and branding work with my newer coaching practice. So I went on a naming journey for something that would be pleasing and evocative and meaning-agnostic. Of course, haha, now I have developed a coaching program that’s all about branding and marketing from the heart (coming soon in the new MagnoliasWest website). Who knew?
  • The PITA (pain in the ass) factor. The very idea of what it would take to change my business name all over the interwebs made this a really easy choice. As it is, changing out my logo everywhere is going to be massive enough. Sadly, I am not that woman who has a list of every website and service on which her logo resides. Think about it. Do you have an online business? Then you probably know what that means.

There’s much done and much left to do.

  • Many of the new web pages are written. Once I get 2-1/2 more done, I have all I need to get the site launched.
  • The design is kinda sorta clear in my head, so when I get started on layout, it should go quickly.
  • I have lots of support, and I’m so grateful, because support makes it all less overwhelming and therefore more doable. I’m asking for and getting lots of input from my mastermind folks and my coach, and I’ve upped my meditation practice.

How’s your business development going? What’s moving smoothly? Where are you stuck? Let’s support each other. I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

*Go ahead, replace “boatload” with your own favorite unit of measurement. I was thinking “shit-ton” or “fuckload” but then I decided to be a lady for once.

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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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  1. “Sadly, I am not that woman who has a list of every website and service on which her logo resides.”

    Thank you. I laughed out loud. (for real). I probably STILL have some sites and links under the name I stopped using several years ago. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

    • Andrea, Yup, a laugh riot. Sometimes I yearn to be that other kind of person. But I’m not. So I rely on time and the kindness of my tribe to help me find ’em and fix ’em as I go.

      Love and light,

    • Thank you, Claudia.

      I am enjoying it. Wish I could go faster, but when I sink into this version of “slow marketing” I am really enjoying how much I’m learning about myself as I refine and uplevel my brand.


  2. Having just been through this myself Sue…I know how challenging this can be. But I love your approach of slow marketing and learning about yourself as you refine and redefine. I found it to be a great growth experience personally and stretched me in ways I never thought possible. Much love and blessings and I love your Magnolias!

  3. My big question is do I need an umbrella name for all my business ventures? I’m expanding with new names to represent my different business ventures, but don’t really want to use Sheila Callaham as the overarching name. I’m glad you’re keeping Magnolias West, btw, I’ve always liked it!!!

    • Sheila, that’s an interesting question. I went from two separate businesses to one, and I’m glad I did.

      I’m eager to see what you end up doing.


  4. Keep the name! It’s all a lot of thought, work and planning. Updating your look is exciting, but it’s always a leap, not to mention unlimited pressure to get it done well. The problem is you set your own deadlines and workload control. Pace yourself and do this as you would do for an ideal client.

    • Kelly, hi. So lovely to see you here. Welcome.

      Thanks for the input. Keeping the name, check. Setting my own deadlines, check. Treating myself like an ideal client — not so much. I agonize over every detail even more when it’s for me!

      Love and light,

  5. You are a brave lady, Sue, as I know how many choices there are to make when you begin a rebrand. Reading your post had me thinking of the very laborious process my designer, developer and I had creating the latest iteration of my “brand” with my new website. My brand is in fact…me and my name. The fact that I am a “Multifacetist”, is one of the creative choices we made to brand me as having many facets to who I am and what I do. As I move more towards my health and vitality consulting, that begs me to recreate something separate and apart from my lovely website. I’ve learned that combining too many things in one site is confusing and I have in some ways done that. To start again. Oh my! What a thought. Still considering options and looking at the realm of all possibilities. Happy you are keeping your name Magnolias West, because that is you and your brand and changing the direction, for me anyways, still fits with your established name. Have fun along the way. Enjoy the decisions. Looking forward to hearing more as it unfolds.

    • Beverley, wow, thanks.

      I still love “multifacetist” — very resonant and meaningful.

      Let me know if you want some help in unfolding your new offers.


  6. I went through a similar exercise in whether I should rebrand or not, Sue in 2014 when I mulled over whether a business brand that I had built with love and effort should be replaced with my own name. I was fortunate to have received good advice at the time and for many of the reasons in your post, I have kept Karmic Ally Coaching but have also created a website in my own name with redirects to my website and brand. The decision should have been a simple one yet I needed to work out the justification for myself.

    • Vatsala, thanks for sharing your processing around naming with me. I think you’ve made a good and sustainable decision. Although… did you think about having go directly to your live site instead of displaying and then suggesting a link over? You might keep more viewers that way. What do you think?

      Love and light,

  7. I just LOVE your “PITA factor” term and warn you that I fully intend to use it. 🙂 I appreciate that you’re sharing your rebranding journey, Sue, because it seems many of us are on similar journeys right now.

    I finally assembled the parts and pieces of my website I wanted to feature, but now I’m looking at ways to expand my message because I believe I’ve become too tightly focused, which is SO ironic because I shuttered a perfectly successful blog because it was too generic!

    Anyway, I’ve identified two potential areas for expansion and because I’ve learned the hard way about moving too quickly, I’ve set up a “Collection” for each topic on Google+. This will give me the opportunity to play and explore and build a bit of a following before making further changes on the website. Looking forward to hearing about what’s next for you!

    • Marquita, of course! I myself lifted PITA from the source of many of my best phrases: a 12-step meeting. Oh wait, I’m wrong. I learned PITA in one of my decades working in graphic design studios (talking about PITA clients, and why one always adds 1/3 to the estimate for the PITA factor).

      I too look forward to what you unroll next. I keep collections, too, but I keep them in Evernote. Which you may want to consider, as I hear that G+ is not much longer for this world.

      Blessed be.

  8. Love the PITA factor, no I don’t have a list and as I see an old photo pop up I wish I did have a list everywhere; one day I will have systems. This is great Sue and feels like you have done what feels good for you,

    And it would have been a PITA.

    Yes this rebranding has been really challenging for me and feel like I have been on a merry go round. Returning to where I started many years ago with fresh eyes. Love we are on the same path. Big Hugs

    • Hey Suzie, Glad I’m not the only disorganized one. Really wish I was more systematic and structured, but I’m not losing sleep over that one.

      I’m glad we’re both doing this dance at kinda the same time. So nice to know I’m not alone.


  9. As you point out, there’s a lot of decisions that come with rebranding. I appreciate you sharing your process and taking a slower and more cautious approach. This lets all of your rebranding elements fall into place naturally. I’ll be watching for your new debut as Magnolias West.

    • Joyce, slow yes, but I’m trying earnestly not to be too cautious, as that’s one way I have stopped myself in the past from forward motion. And although I’m crafting my new brand story and message with exquisite care, I also am wildly relieved that it’s WordPress, and I can continue to add and massage the message as I go. Thank the Goddess that it’s not going to be 5,000 brochures! One of the many things that I love about our modern marketing era.


  10. Everyone seemed to know us as BeadZbyRoz & when we rebranded 3 years ago, had to rename to be inclusive. My daughter was a more integral part of the business. Very challenging task and when we thought of our different styles, personalities, etc, Earth and Moon was perfect. Could not have done it without the guidance of our coach.

    • Hey Roz, Thanks for sharing more of your rebrand process with you. I love the Earth and Moon look; matches the beauty of your products.


  11. OMG I loved your ending LOL Best ending Ever! I too and looking at my biz as the Retrograde energies are focing me to do an audit of where I have slacked off amd not been authentic. Wishing you massive success lovely lady! Great post.

    • Lisa, welcome here. Glad you liked the ending (I’m guessing you meant the PITA part).

      Yup the multitude of retrogrades is adding a level of slowly unfolding murkiness to everything it seems.

      Quite a season for a rebrand!


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